Thursday, 11 July 2013

PRE-SEASON: Nelson Mandela Football Invitational

Where are the Blues heading? First part of an in depth look at City's pre season schedule

By Aaron Leggott

Modern day footballers are getting used to having to travel around the globe during pre season nowadays - it's a hard life isn't it?

But as demand for extra revenue and sponsorship increases, the hierarchy at Manchester City know that these trips are a must if they want to attract and generate extra income.

The first trip sees the Blues stop in South Africa to partake in the Nelson Mandela Football Invitational.

Manuel Pellegrini's men will come up against two of the countries top teams, with the first fixture against SuperSport United on Sunday, July 14. 

The game is being held in Pretoria at the Loftus Verseld Stadium at 2pm - a ground capable of holding over 50,000 spectators. 

So, who are SuperSport United?

Well, they usually play their home games at the Lucas Moripe Stadium in Atteridgeville and previously were known as Pretoria City before being purchased by M-Net in 1994.

They arguably have one of the best academies in South Africa, boasting graduates such as Daine Klate, Kermit Erasmus and Kamohelo Mokotjo. Interestingly, they currently have a partnership with Tottenham and used to be managed by Bruce Grobbelaar between 1999 and 2001. 

In terms of the current squad, they are currently managed by Calvin Johnson and finished 6th in the Premier Soccer League last season.

However, thanks to winning the Nedbank Cup, the Matsatsantsa (translated to "The Swanky Boys") will partake in next seasons CAF Confederation Cup. 

Take a look at this wonder goal scored by Mor Diouf in last season's clash against Mamelodi Sundowns:

The second fixture takes place four days later on July 18 against Amazulu at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban.

This game is taking place on Nelson Mandela day - marking his 95th birthday. The game kicks off at 7pm.

Profile: Amazulu FC

This match is taking place at Amazulu's home ground, which holds 54,000 and is an impressive arena used during the 2010 World Cup.

Originally known as Zulu Royals, the club was formed in 1932 by Zulu migrant workers. In fact, their nickname Usuthu is a Zulu war cry.

The 2012-13 season saw Amazulu finish 12th in the Premier Soccer League under the leadership of Craig Rosslee. 

Keep up to date on events during pre season through our Twitter account or through the Official Site.

Below is a video of the press conference ahead of the two games in the Southern Hemisphere:

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(c) The Sky Blue View 2013

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